NJ Human Services Awards Contracts to Enhance Community Supports for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness in Cape May, Gloucester and Salem

Feb. 3, 2022

(TRENTON) Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded contracts to enhance community support services to adults with serious mental illness in Cape May, Gloucester and Salem counties.

The $500,000 plan will provide opportunities for a minimum of 20 individuals, with priority given to individuals in community or inpatient settings who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and meet eligibility criteria for the community support services (CSS). They can be at risk of homelessness because they’re facing eviction or residing at different places nightly, among other concerns. The program will also provide housing subsidy options.

“Human Services has long been committed to developing and expanding community integration opportunities for individuals with serious mental illness,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “As part of that commitment, we’re always looking for new ways to support the needs of individuals and enhance community support. With this plan, we’re expanding critical direct supports for high risk individuals, many of whom have co-existing medical conditions or substance use disorders and have experienced periods of long-term institutionalization that they may be reluctant to leave. Our goal is to help these individuals become fully integrated into their communities.”

The contracts have been awarded to Jewish Family Services (JFS) for Cape May and Collaborative Support Programs (CSP) for Gloucester and Salem counties.

Under the plan, providers and their system partners will identify and combat barriers that may impede individuals with serious mental illness from seeking and accessing clinical and rehabilitative services. The awardees will collaborate with system partners to ensure coordination, equity, and inclusion of care; deliver services in a culturally competent manner; ensure services meet the language access needs of individuals served by this project; and coordinate and lead efforts to reduce disparities in access, quality, and program outcomes.

“The services and supports will be provided in a holistic manner that enables individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness to develop the skills necessary to become fully integrated into their communities, particularly in the areas of housing, employment, and social contexts,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie L. Mielke, who leads the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “With this approach, the individuals will be full partners in planning their own treatment by identifying and directing the types of activities that would help them maximize opportunities for successful community living. We will also help individuals connect and manage their physical health needs, including high risk conditions such as a pulmonary condition; metabolic syndrome; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; obesity; and tobacco use; and provide or arrange follow up care.”

Acting Commissioner Adelman reminded residents in need of mental health support to reach out for help through Human Services’ help lines.

Human Services provides the NJMentalHealthCares helpline at 866-202-HELP (4357). The line can also be reached by texting NJHOPE to 51684.

Deaf and hard of hearing individuals fluent in American Sign Language can take advantage of a videophone mental health help line at 973-870-0677.

The HEAL NJ Healthcare Workers COVID Hope & Healing Helpline can be reached at 1-833-416-8773.

The RISE: NJ First Responders COVID Hope & Healing Helpline for law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS professionals and others can be reached at 1-833-237-4325.

The NJ Hopeline suicide prevention help line can be reached at 1-855-654-6735.

“New Jerseyans have a safe space to talk to someone about their worries and concerns,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “Talking to others and staying connected can help reduce anxiety, and the trained specialists answering these phones can help callers take care of their mental health.”

“Please don’t hesitate to call,” Assistant Commissioner Mielke said. “We are here to help.”